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Internet Hackers take down Bet9ja website, demand N5bn

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Popular betting site, Bet9ja has been hacked by yet to be identified hackers.

Sports pundits who frequently use the betting platform said the hack was noticed in the earlier hours of Wednesday as they could not access the site.

According to an operator, Michael Okoro who spoke with our Correspondent in Owerri, he said that he worked in his shop late on Tuesday and noticed the abnormalities early Wednesday morning.

He also alleged that the hackers have contacted the betting company and demanded a ransom of N5bn.

“I have not worked since Wednesday morning due to the attack on the bet9ja site.
“The site has been down for almost 48 hours. They company I heard said the hackers demanded a ransom of N5bn to allow them control over the site.”

He also said that the situation has kept him out of work and prays that it be solved before next week Monday.

Our correspondent who tried to access the site, only saw the official statement from the betting site confirming the hack.

The statement reads, “Just like so many market-leading global organizations, Bet9ja recently became a victim of a sophisticated criminal cyber-attack, which is restricting your access to our platform.

“We take this matter extremely seriously. Our priority is protecting our customers and you have our assurances that your accounts and all your funds are safe.

“We appreciate your patience and understanding at this difficult time.

“We will be back stronger as soon as is technically possible, rewarding you with a truly sensational bonanza of promotions.”

 

 

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How Kwara Government Renovated Stadium’s Indoor Sports Hall With N72Million On Paper With Nothing On The Ground To Show For It

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In this investigation, THE INFORMANT247’S YEMI SODEEQ who visited the indoor sports hall of the Kwara State Stadium in Ilorin, writes that despite the release of over N72 million for its renovation, the old sporting facility is in shambles, housing reptiles and downsizing the momentum of sporting men and women who ought to be training at the facility. 

It was a sunny Monday afternoon and a training day for Volleyball players at the Kwara State Stadium complex. Adedayo Oke, the Captain of the Kwara United Volleyball Club who also doubles as the Assistant Coach of Volleyball in the State, stood at a corner inside the gigantic Indoor Sports Hall of the stadium.

Oke was visibly worried. At some points, he was lost in thought when this reporter approached him to inquire about the state of the complex.

He looked up with a jolt, sighed and before he could utter a single word, Oke reached for an old bag of sacks and brought out several damaged balls.

He then began to narrate how they are facing difficulties trying to access the facility.

“It is quite obvious, especially to those familiar with this stadium, that this facility is in a state of despair. This floor is no longer good for the safety of players and the equipment we use. The balls and other sporting equipment have become an endangered species, with irons and metals inside the hall pushing them to a short life span,” Oke lamented.

The volleyball skipper further noted that the ramshackle hall is having adverse effects on how long their balls can be used. By that expression, Oke’s argument suggests that the deteriorating condition of the facility is taking some economic toll on their pockets. “You can see we now have less than two balls in good condition. We used to have ten balls, but the balls have been deflated by pins and nails around here,” he added, stressing that each volleyball cost between N40,000 to N45,000.

A Shadow Of Its Old Self

The Kwara State Stadium Complex is an expansive edifice cherished by the sports-loving Kwara residents. From the gate to the training pitches, swimming pool, outdoor twin basketball and volleyball courts, main bowl, football academy and indoor sports hall, the stadium complex stands out as the first of its kind in the country.

The arena, built in 1977 by the then military administrator of the state, the late Brigadier-General George Innih, remains one of the stadiums in the country owned by a state government, with a large concentration of sports, numbering 28 in the whole complex. It hosted the 1985 National Sports Festival, and it has also hosted several other important sports tournaments, like the World Handball Championship in 1991, among others.

The multi-sports ‘Indoor Sports Hall’ inside the complex, among many other sporting events, could host basketball, volleyball, handball, table tennis, badminton, boxing, judo, and taekwondo including all para-sports for disabled athletes. The structure, which houses offices of the Kwara State Sports Commission, also by extension has places for games like dart and weightlifting.

However, this all-important facility is in shambles presenting a leaky roof, broken chairs for spectators and damaged air conditioners.  The place becomes uninhabitable, especially during the rainy season. It’s now a place for reptiles and other dangerous animals.

Stad

N73 Million Is Spent Without Accountability 

Records obtained by The Informant247 show that in 2021, the sum of N72,485,773.22 was released for the rehabilitation of the edifice.

Records from Kwara State’s financial statement obtained by this medium show that a total sum of N516,180,034.00 was earlier budgeted for the renovation of the hall in the 2021 financial year.

About 7 months into 2022 and despite the evidence of the release of N73 million naira, not a single inch of renovation has been started at the facility. Our correspondent reports that the facility remains in shambles and no work has started even after the release of funds.

Stadium

The edifice has severely deteriorated, and the environment has become very filthy. The chairs in the spectators’ sitting area are broken, and some have fallen off their positions. The metal at the edge of the broken seats, according to players, destroys balls every now and then.

Broken Chairs 

The floors are impassable and windows have been blown off by the windstorm. The playing tracks have worn off completely. Whenever it rains, it is flooded for several hours.

The roof is blown off and the walls present easy passage for lizards and other reptiles.  Just like the roof, there are gaping holes on the floor, as well. A peep into the office area showed that the terraces were equally damaged.

The main entrance to the hall itself is dilapidated. The famed hall where some of the country’s best trained before international championships, is now in a sordid state.

Barrage Of Lamentation 

Players and other users of the Kwara State sporting facility continue to express their disaffection with the condition of the facility and how it continues to weaken their morale.

Olasunkanmi Abdulhameed, a basketball player who was training inside the hall says the state government has not done anything recently to put the facility in shape.

“They are not doing anything here, for now, absolutely nothing,” he stated.

“I’ve been training here for the past 2 years. They only worked on some other facilities. Nothing was done here. Everything is unkempt, it stinks too.”

An official of para games who spoke to The Informant247 but does not want his name mentioned for fear of victimization said: “Our government is just playing politics with that place. They go there, pay lip services and budget millions of naira for renovation, eventually, nothing will be done. I don’t think the government is actually ready to renovate this place.”

A member of the Kwara Badminton Veterans Club, Ahmed Ayinla berated the current standard of the hall, stressing that it no longer ticks the boxes of competition requirements.

“Going by a standard badminton hall, that place doesn’t meet the standard in terms of facilities like changing rooms, shower rooms, and even convenience,” he said. “The lighting within the hall is another major problem. Some of the games that could be played at night time now need ‘special provisions. The lights are no longer functioning. If not, there are some little provisions just to make sure that things are still going.

“The floor itself is old. It is supposed to be matted. It is very rare for you to see wood like this. It really affects the performance of the Athletes who train here on the wood and go out there to play on the mat,” Ayinla added.

A Table Tennis player, Bisola Asaju noted that, although a new hall is currently being constructed for the game, the players still have a lot to contend with regarding the Table Tennis section of the facility.

“One of the challenges we are facing here is the loose window at the roof that gives space for wind and this is not really good for our game because the wind used to disrupt the movement of balls.

“Anytime there is rain, we will need to stop the game because of some places where rain used to enter the hall. Some of our tables have now been spoiled by the rain,” said Bisola who added that the floor has also worn out and it is often difficult to play anytime there is no light.

An official of the Kwara State Sports Commission, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said, “The renovation is long overdue. I could remember vividly when I was young, the hall played host to a lot of international competitions like the World Handball Military games. But in recent years, the state of the indoor facilities has become worrisome and it is a major concern for all stakeholders.

“The offices that surround the indoor sports hall are also affected and it is a gory sight during the rainy season and it is often more or less like we are outside anytime there is a downpour,” he added.

Kwara Sports Commission Reacts 

When asked about the money released for the renovation of the indoor sports hall of the stadium, the Chairman of the Kwara State Sports Commission, Bola Magaji who also lamented the condition of the facility, said that he was not aware of any funds released for its rehabilitation.

“I am aware of the money released for the renovation of the swimming pool, the squash court and Handball, but I can’t say the same for this hall. You can see my office too. Is this how my office is supposed to be,” the chairman whose office is also within the complex said.

He said the Sports Commission only came on board last year, adding that details about the renovation of the Indoor sports hall weren’t contained in the inventory he took upon his assumption of office.

The Kwara State government on August 3, 2021, appointed board members for the Kwara State Sports Commission after the abrogation of the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development

Several attempts to reach the Commissioner of Finance, Olasumbo Florence and the former Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development in the State, Barrister Iyabo Banire for comments were futile as they refused to pick up calls or reply to text messages.

This story was published with support from Civic Media Lab

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No. 4 Ladoke: Tinubu ally, Tayo Ayinde, Allegedly fingered in land grabbing scandal

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The incessant issue of Lagos State officials meddling in the affairs of landowners and their wanton and indiscriminate destruction of properties among other vices was brought to the fore following an unauthorised demolition and sealing off of a property, belonging to Chief Adetunji Omisore and one Tajudeen Mohammed, at No. 4, Ladoke Akintola Street, GRA Ikeja, Lagos, on Tuesday July 19, 2022. #4Ladoke

Fingered in this allegation and alleged to be playing prominently in this saga is the Chief of Staff to the Lagos State governor, Tayo Ayinde, the owner of Watercrest Hotel and numerous choice properties around the Lagos metropolis, who lives opposite the above-mentioned address, precisely occupying No.5, Ladoke Akintola Street, GRA Ikeja.

According to an information available to the press, the Lagos State Building Control Agency, LSBCA, served the owner and developer of the said property a 7 day demolition notice on Friday, July 15, 2022.

On Monday, July 18, the developer approached the general manager of LSBCA, Gbolahan Oki, who was recently reinstated after he was suspended by the governor, for clarification on the illegal action. Note that the property in question is under the authorisation and jurisdiction of the Federal Government of Nigeria.

Oki was temporarily booted out when a high-rise block of luxury flats under construction in the neighbourhood of Ikoyi collapsed, killing at least 42 people in November 2021.

The owners’ efforts to prove to the agency that they have the approved documents on the said land fell on deaf ears as the owner was kicked out of the office of the general manager and ordered to send the document through official channel channel the following day.

However, without waiting for the 7 day notice to lapse, on Tuesday, July 19, the agency moved caterpillar and black maria to the site to begin demolition of the over N500million investment as early as 6:00am in the morning, barricading the property while the workers were assaulted.

Not only were those who made attempts to record the illegal activities of the policemen attached to the governor’s office beaten, their gadgets were also confiscated.

It took the intervention of the Presidential Committee on Lease in Abuja to put a stop to the demolition after frantic calls were made to them. By then, a new six-bedroom bungalow, a penthouse, the reception of the hotel building among other things had been leveled down on the 3800 square metres property.

An official at the Lagos State Building Control, who craved anonymity, informed the media that Tayo Ayinde gave Oki directive for the demolition of the structure.

It was also alleged that after the sealing of the property when demotion was halted by the federal government, the Chief of Staff, who is also a close ally of the leading presidential candidate of All Progressives Party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, allocated a portion of the property to a construction company awarded the contract of reconstructing the road covering the whole stretch of Ladoke Akintola Street, as site office.

From all indications, it is becoming glaring that Tayo Ayinde’s activities is allegedly adding to the long list of nefarious state-backed land-grabbing nightmares.

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Heirs Oil & Gas (HHOG) Reiterates Commitment to Global ESG Best Practices

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Doubles gas production capacity of OML 17 while upholding ESG commitments

Heirs Oil & Gas, Africa’s integrated energy company has reaffirmed its commitment to both national and global environmental, sustainability and governance (ESG) best practices in view of its upcoming operational 1-year anniversary. An important aspect of this commitment is the elimination of routine flaring from HHOGs OML 17 by 2025, in compliance with the Nigerian Government’s routine Flare Reduction/Elimination goal and global greenhouse gas reduction initiatives.

The CEO, Heirs Oil & Gas, Osa Igiehon, in a comment, laid out the steps being taken by the organisation to ensure the implementation of the plans to meet the commitment.

“Decades of underinvestment in the asset cannot be corrected in a few months, since taking over the asset, we have been working arduously on this objective with the execution of flare reduction projects such as follows: AGG (Associated Gas Gathering) compressor uptime improvement, Facility upgrades, provision of gas gathering solutions and Facility off-gas utilisation initiatives,” he stated.

In line with the set objectives, since the acquisition, HHOG have more than doubled the gas production capacity of OML-17 from 50 to 120 mmscfd within the short period we have operated this asset. All this gas goes into the eastern Nigeria domestic gas market to enhance power generation and create the much-needed feedstock for gas-based industries, sustaining & creating jobs and improving lives.

On the social front, HHOG continues to make meaningful contributions towards improving the livelihoods of Africans. We believe that understanding and addressing the interests of our host communities is critical for achieving success in our operations. We continuously seek opportunities to create a positive impact through community infrastructure development and empowerment initiatives.

As a leading indigenous operator, HHOG remains committed to making a positive impact in Nigeria, Africa, and the world at large.

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